New Report: 2016 U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report Examines Global Efforts to End Trafficking

The US State Department has released its annual Trafficking in Persons Report (2016 TIP Report) that evaluates the efforts of 188 countries around the world to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings during the period April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016. The 
2016 TIP Report, like past reports, uses a three-tier system to rank countries based on certain requirements and minimum standards established by the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Countries that fall into the lowest tier, or Tier 3, face potential restrictions on foreign aid from the US.

As reported by Reuters, Human Rights Watch said that the 2016 Report “accurately reflects and critiques the record of countries around the world in addressing human trafficking and forced labor.” This is in contrast to the 2015 report, which many criticized for failing to hold key US allies such as Myanmar and Uzbekistan accountable for poor records on human trafficking. Still, some were concerned that the 2016 TIP report upgraded both Thailand (from Tier 3) and the Philippines (to Tier 1), despite alleged serious ongoing labor and sex trafficking violations.

This year’s report includes sections on identifying vulnerable populations and risk factors, including displacement, disability, religious persecution, statelessness and forced migration, to help nations proactively prevent trafficking and identify and assist victims. The 2016 TIP report also stresses the need for countries to protect victims from criminal prosecution and “further victimization.”

Compiled fromTrafficking in Persons Report 2016, U.S. Department of State (June 2016); Spetalnick, Matt and Wroughton, Lesley, U.S. downgrades Myanmar, raises Thailand in human trafficking reportReuters (July 1, 2016).